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Cottleville to elevate Highway N

When it rains, it is not unusual for a portion of Hwy. N just west of downtown Cottleville to become a lake.

Water from nearby Dardenne Creek and adjacent ditches often rises high enough to cover a portion of the busy roadway near Eagle Hill Drive. The road then has to be closed until the water drains.

“It’s routine flooding,” said Cottleville City Administrator Rich Francis.

That routine may change in the next few years with the construction of a new, elevated portion of Hwy. N between Weiss Road and Eagle Hill Drive.

The Cottleville Board of Aldermen took a major step at their Feb. 19 meeting in laying the groundwork for the project by unanimously approving six ordinances. Those ordinances cover rights-of-way acquisition, a cost agreement with the Missouri Department of Transportation, and a change order with contractor George Butler and Associates for engineering services.

Francis said that the work can get going because the money to pay for it is available.

“It’s pre-funded,” he said.

The city, federal government, MoDOT and the St. Charles County Road Board are sharing the $3.6 million cost of the project. And, Francis said the project may cost less.

About $1.6 million is federal funding approved by the East-West Gateway Council of Governments and $990,000 is from the county Road Board. The 12-member appointed Road board recommends projects for funding from the county’s half-cent transportation sales tax.

MoDOT is providing $1 million toward the project.

Once rights-of-way acquisition and construction plans are complete, Francis said bids to contractors could be let this August with work completed in late 2016 or early 2017. Hwy. N is expected to remain largely open during construction.

The work will include reconstructing and widening more than one mile of Hwy. N from two lanes to three lanes and adding shoulders. A continuous middle turn lane will lessen traffic backups created when traffic turns left into subdivisions and local businesses.

The road also will be raised between 2 and 3 feet above the existing low-lying area and the road will be straightened to improve site distances. A hiking trail will be added adjacent to the roadway, allowing access to Legacy Park, Francis said.

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